The Peel hotel has rejected claims a patron was banned from the venue for posting a negative online comment about the hotel’s owner running for Liberal Party preselection.

La Trobe University nursing student Eric Le Roy told Southern Star he was told by security staff in the early hours of Sunday July 11 he was no longer welcome at the Collingwood gay nightspot unless he deleted a post on The Peel’s Facebook site which labelled McFeely’s decision to run for the Liberal Party as ‘shameful’.

Le Roy, who frequents the bar weekly, claims a security staff member recognised his photo from Facebook and stopped him as he left the bar.

“I was told if I wanted to come back in that I would have to delete it,” he said. “I said I wouldn’t delete it because I have the right to say what I think and not to support the Liberal party.”

Le Roy said he was then told he wouldn’t be allowed back in the venue in future.

Peel owner Tom McFeely told Southern Star he had spoken to the venue’s security and bar staff and no one was aware of the incident.

“My official comment would be that this is fabricated, I have spoken to everyone and they don’t know about it,” he said.

“This is a democracy … I would prefer that people use the Peel [Facebook] site for personal rather than a political debate, that’s where we post our scene photos and event listings up, but I guess he can say what he likes.”

I would like to ask [Le Roy] to come and see me directly to talk more about this, because as far as I can tell, my staff don’t know anything about it.”

McFeely is seeking endorsement as the number two Liberal Party candidate for the Northern Metropolitan Region upper house seat in Victorian Parliament.

The Victorian division of the Liberal Party is set to meet on August 1 to make a decision.

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